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Abstracts for Undergraduate Research Expo due March 31

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is calling for undergraduate students involved in research to submit abstracts for the third annual Undergraduate Research Expo that will be held April 20. Abstracts are due by March 31 and may be submitted online.

According to Kumer Das, associate professor and OUR director, the Undergraduate Research Expo is designed to celebrate and showcase students' involvement in scholarly research and creative productions campus-wide, provide a venue that supports LU's combined educational missions and afford students the opportunity to exchange ideas in a professional setting. All participating students will receive a certificate. 

“The expo is the signature event of the year on campus for undergraduate research. This is for all students involved in research; some students think this is only for students who have received a grant, but this is not at all the case,” Das said. “Students are more than welcome to present thesis projects, senior theses, honors projects, independent study projects, capstone projects and more, and I absolutely encourage them to be a part of this event.”

The Undergraduate Research Expo 2016 will feature a symposium, poster fair and keynote speaker Jim Jordan, earth and space sciences professor and department chair. At the Undergraduate Research Expo 2015, almost 55 students presented research through either poster presentations or talks. Das hopes for even more undergraduate researchers to present this year.

“We really would like to let students know through all means necessary that they are able to present their research at an event of this caliber,” Das said. “It’s such an amazing opportunity for students to disseminate their findings and gain new ideas from faculty attending.”

According to Das, even the students who are not presenting or involved in research should register to attend the expo.

“Seeing their peers delve into all sorts of interesting topics will inspire those in attendance to look deeper into undergraduate research more than their peers who have not been exposed to the research presentation itself,” he added.

After students interested in presenting scholarly research at the expo turn in their abstracts via the OUR site, faculty will review them before giving feedback to the senders.

“You’re going to know exactly what’s going well, what’s maybe not, and so forth,” Das said. “And despite the fact that there are sections for data collection and results on the abstract submission page, these might not be applicable to everyone. For example, a student could present a literary review. Or are maybe a student is still testing something and expects a certain result—that would be fine as well. We want students to submit abstracts anyway.”

Das believes that beyond just giving students a place to distribute their research findings within the university community, the Undergraduate Research Expo 2016 will give students practice, confidence, and greater success in future ventures.

“In my eyes, a student even attempting to submit an abstract is a winning student to me, because now they’ll know going forward how to format one. It’s the same with posters,” Das said. “These things may sound pretty easy, but when you’re actually tasked with doing them, it’s a different experience. When you’re presenting in front of a large crowd, it’s a different experience than going over something with a few peers, for example. But tackling new challenges builds students’ confidence in these areas and overall.”

All current undergraduate students involved in undergraduate research may submit an abstract, and all members of the community are encouraged to register to attend the Undergraduate Expo 2016 by April 7. For abstract submission, registration, and more information, contact Kumer Das at or (409) 880-7947